Pie Domination!

Just a quick note to follow up on my pie predicament in my previous post.   To recap, I was trying to lose 25 pounds by yesterday morning.  This is the end of the 16-week program I joined to lose weight and work my way toward a healthier me.  Did I think about the fact that this program would end a few days after Thanksgiving?  I did not.  I am pleased to tell you that I reached my goal weight three days ago!  I attribute this achievement to my painful restriction of pie at Thanksgiving dinner.  I did it!  Oh yes, I have achieved pie domination!  I am now a The Dominatrix of Pie.

Thanksgiving dinner was fabulous.  It was prepared by a professional chef!  It’s good to have someone in the family with such expertise.  Or bad…if you are trying to lose weight.  It was hard, but I kept to my word and had no seconds.  There were only four pies this year, so that was a bit of a break.  I gave in to temptation and allowed myself a single bite of each.  The pie-makers were happy to see me hovering over their respective pies, and I felt good limiting myself.  “Good” might be going too far, “strong” might be a better word.  Those pies were not going to stop me from achieving my goals.  No siree!  I showed them that I could just have a taste and walk away.  What do you think about that, pie!?

The idea of a post Thanksgiving day weigh-in wasn’t my idea of a good time.  I was a bit fearful as I approached the scale of judgment…how bad would it be?  It wasn’t bad!  I didn’t gain an ounce.  I guess that’s what happens when you bring 3 bottles of wine to a family dinner and don’t drink a drop.  My sister-in-law informed me that the two left-over bottles would be opened for Christmas dinner.  I don’t intend to drink it then, either.  I have goals, damn it!

So, pie isn’t the only thing being dominated.  Wine is on notice, too!  I’m guessing that last bottle of wine won’t be consumed until New Year’s Eve.  Since that is the date of my next colonoscopy, I think I might need a glass of wine that night.   I’ll just think of it as fruit juice.  Hey, it has grapes in it…don’t judge me!  The USDA says you need a minimum of 2 servings of fruit per day.  Who am I to question the USDA?  My scale might not be happy, but at least my wine consumption will be government approved!  


I cannot stress the importance of the support and motivation I received from my friends at Weigh To Be Healthy   We started that group when I was midway through this goal of mine and it helped me tremendously as I was nearing the end and questioning whether or not I’d make it.  I can’t imagine a more supportive group of people.  Feel free to join us if you like, and we’ll support you, too!

American Pie

In Thanksgivings past I have thoroughly enjoyed whatever food was put before me…often with seconds for the particularly choice bits.  Ok, they are ALL particularly choice bits, and that’s the problem.  Without thinking, I made a very ill-timed decision and I am now facing the consequences.  I joined a ‘lose weight and get healthy’ program and I set my goal to lose 25 pounds in 16 weeks.  The catch is that my 16 weeks are up on Sunday and I haven’t quite met my goal, yet.  My freaking goal is due three days after Thanksgiving!!!  You will just have to imagine me doing facepalms repeatedly…and with great force.

This year I vowed I would be more restrained.  No seconds!   No seconds, and no wine.  I’m going to eat and drink responsibly.  Yup, it’s going to be a sober, seconds-less Thanksgiving.  It sure is!  But I still have to deal with pies.  So many pies…

We are a pie-loving family.  Every year at least three people show up with multiple pies.  It’s always a pie-palooza.  Now it’s one thing if a couple of people bring a pie, but when there are a half dozen pies on the counter, there’s a problem.  Then the whole ‘eating responsibly’ idea becomes less of a reality and more of a quickly-forgotten oath.  Plus, you can’t have one and not another, otherwise feelings get hurt.  That would make for a very unthankful Thanksgiving, and we can’t have that.

How do you say no when a family member is handing you a piece of pie they lovingly created for you?  There they are, just waiting for that “mmmmm” sound made only after one has had an extraordinary piece of pie.  If they don’t get that sound, their entire pie-making endeavor was for naught, and Thanksgiving has been utterly ruined.  We can’t have that, but what to do?

I’ve been pondering this problem and this past week I have been working on plausible excuses for not eating six pieces of pie after Thanksgiving dinner.  I will probably have to use the excuse I come up with a number of times so it has to be universally appropriate and consistent…and it has to be true.  I won’t lie.  These rules have proven to make this pie-avoiding goal difficult.  The following are works in progress:

“Oooh, that pie looks wonderful but don’t get too close!  I have a tickle in my throat (true) and I don’t want you to catch my cold!”

“I’ve been trying to cut back on sweets (true), but it looks so good…let me have just a sliver”  This might work but there is an inherent problem here. It’s almost impossible for me to have “just a sliver” and not want to consume more.  I am a woman who has ‘slivered’ a cheesecake to death.  There will be no successful slivering of six pies, so this one is out.

“Oh my goodness!  So and so was just asking who made this gorgeous pie!” This always leads to the pie-maker heading in the direction of the potential pie-appreciator and thus getting me off the hook.  The only snag here is that I can only use this when someone actually does ask who made the pie, otherwise it’s a lie. Lucky for me, everyone in the family is always asking who made what pie, so this one is a contender.  Did I mention that we are a pie-loving family?

I could get up and move around with a drink in my hand.  It’s hard to eat pie while standing and drinking.  But to make this plausible, it would entail talking with someone who is also standing.  The real concern here is that the odds are high that the only people standing would be pie-makers…who want me to eat their pie.  That would defeat the purpose.  I should probably rule this one out.

I could tell them that I’m sharing with Bill, and because he doesn’t indulge in sweets (true!)  we’ll only have small pieces.  If I had one bite of each, that might work!  I would be able to tell everyone exactly what I liked about their pie.  Mmmmmm  I wouldn’t have the ‘slivering’ problem because there would be another bite coming.  And I would come away eating only the equivalent of a single piece of pie because after I eat my one bite of each, I can move away from the table and what’s left on the plate will be Bill’s problem.  Even that is more pie than I probably should eat, but we all have to make sacrifices for those we love.  Yummy, yummy sacrifices.  This idea might be the winner!  Maybe I could make it a new tradition.  After all, Christmas is right around the corner.

Oh, and if you don’t live in America, just disregard this whole thing.  You can be thankful that you aren’t in the middle of our current political maelstrom. Although, if you are from the UK, your situation isn’t too rosy either.  Even though you aren’t celebrating Thanksgiving, you should have a piece of pie.  It’ll make you feel better.  I’m more than willing to share.









Come On People, Let’s Get Healthy!

I promise I’ll get back to regularly scheduled programming (my typical blog posts) soon, but I wanted to post an update on Weigh To Be Healthy.  In case you missed it, this is a new health-oriented Facebook group that was created to help us along with a healthy lifestyle.  Geez, I hate that word “lifestyle.”  It sounds like an animated hair cut.  But it does convey the idea that we want make changes in our lives to be healthier longterm.

In this group we support each other as we try to lose weight.  Hey, that’s just one of the best ways to improve your health, but it’s more than that.  We share healthful information of all kinds.  Want to know about cauliflower crust, exercise snacks, and have lots of laughs?  Join us and you’ll get all of that, and more.

Becoming healthy is one of my highest priorities.  It took me a while to realize that I have only one life to live, and I want to make the most of it.  I’m eating healthier food, losing weight, and I’m just feeling better all around.  Commitment is a cornerstone of any worthwhile endeavor.  Accountability is another.  The support I get from Weigh To Be Healthy encourages those things.  Plus, it’s just so much easier when you have friends to cheer you on…and have fun doing it!

Come join us!

Weigh To Be Healthy

If you aren’t ready to join and just want more information, just send an email to me at mainepaperpusher@yahoo.com.  I’ll be happy to answer questions.

The Wizard of Drool

This post is about dog drool and Walter’s copious dispersal thereof.  He’s very good at slinging the slobber so don’t forget to pick up your Drool Abatement Kit before proceeding.

Safety First!


safety drool

Having a drool-producing canine can be an annoyance.  If you have a big dog like Walter, it can be life-changing.  He drools…a LOT!  Think of a St. Bernard and a Newfie combined.  Yeah, you get the picture.  The very drippy, soggy picture…

It wasn’t supposed to be this way.  There are two types of Great Danes:  American and European.  American Danes have, what I would call, normal jowls.  European Danes have jowls that droop to their knees.  Walter should have had taut, trim American jowls like most of his ancestors.

Version 3

No hint of drooly, droopy jowls when he was a puppy


Instead, his jowls are so droopy, it’s amazing that he doesn’t trip over them.  All of his ancestors were American except for one European great or great-great (I forget) grandfather who came from Euro stock.  I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that Walter is a throwback, I should have thrown him back years ago!


The Wizard of Drool


If there was a Department of Drool at Hogwarts, Walter would be the Wizard of Drool.  The Wiz of Drool has a rather fun ring to it, don’t you think?  He could also be the Wiz of Whiz but that was the subject of one of my previous posts.  Walter’s urinary indiscretions are, after all, legendary.  Between the drool and the pee, Walter’s most-heard words are “Walter, no!  Walter, get away from me!”  Walter never goes away.  If there is any chance at all that he can pass a little slobber along, he will find a way to do it.

People are not his only targets, either.  Windows and doors are obvious choices, but for Walter, any vertical surface is fair game.  Horizontal surfaces are not immune either.  I always say that anything less than 7 feet off the ground isn’t safe from him.  (If you are a banana, I might stretch that to 8 feet.  Walter loves bananas.)  But the drool knows no limits.  Ceiling-slobber is not unheard of.  Do you know how hard it is to clean dog drool off a tin ceiling?  Repeatedly?  I do, and I wish I didn’t.



Tulip wore Walter’s head as a hat…just before he ‘kissed’ her


The cats have not been left unscathed, either.  Our little kitten Tulip likes Walter.  I don’t know why, but she does.  One particularly slobbery day, Tulip walked up to Walter and he gave her a kiss…one long lick from her toes to the top of her head.  I’ve never seen a cat shake like a dog does in order to shed water, but she did just that.  Oh, Walter…



The drooliest, droopiest jowls ever!


One might think that dog drool is only a negative thing and nothing positive could possibly come from it, but that’s not true.  Much like his shoe-peeing prowess, the drool thing tends to keep away unwanted visitors.  Being an introvert, that is sometimes a handy thing.  “Oh yes, he tends to jump and drool on you.  He peed on your shoes?  Yes, he tends to do that, too.  Oh, must you go so soon?”  Heh heh heh  Goodbye salespeople, religious pamphlet-bearers, and the dreaded “oh I just thought I’d drop by”-ers.  Seeya!  Or not.

Unfortunately, Walter’s fluid-sharing predilections can keep away wanted visitors, as well.  This can be a problem.  I will often try to corral Walter in the living room if it’s just going to be a kitchen table sort of visit.  But if we want to sit and chat on the sofa for a while, I have to march Walter past the wanted visitors to the other end of the house.  He does not like to be marched past potential targets…especially if they are unsullied drool-wise.  Drool virgins are his favorites. I feel sorry for the drool virgins.  There are few things scarier than a 150-pound drooling dog who is eyeing your shoes for their potential as a good pee-stop.  He really likes to slobber chests, too.  Boob-drool is more common than I care to admit. I just thought I’d mention these things to all of you who make excuses for Walter and think he is just awesome.  I dare you to come and visit me for a dose of boob-drool!  I.DARE.YOU!



“Any drool virgins down there?”


The other day, I realized that Walter had outdone himself drool-wise.  He had a long line of it strung across the top of his own head.  That takes skill.  I got out the drool towel and cleaned him off.  Yes, I have a drool-towel.  Actually, it’s a purple batik drool-bandana and when I’m not using it to clean him up, he wears it as a fashion accessory!




A couple of hours ago, Bill informed me that his riding lawn mower had a flat front tire.  Ok, simple enough.  Keep in mind that Bill is allergic to all things mechanical.  I, on the other hand, have half a clue about such things because my Dad was a mechanical whiz and I tended to pay attention.  Doing that has paid off handsomely in the years that followed, but back to the lawnmower…

I go out to the barn with my Dad’s handy ratchet set.  I figure if it has a non-metric nut I can just take it off and pull the tire.  I look at the mower and try to determine the best place to jack it.  But then, I actually thought ahead and figured before I did that, I’d best see what I’m dealing with.  I pull off the axel’s dust cover and there is no nut; only a smooth cylindrical thing and what appeared to be a couple of large washers behind that.  Ok, Dad’s ratchet set isn’t going to do squat here.  Sorry, Dad!  This is something I’ve never seen before.  I knew I had to tell Bill and I’d have to endure that crestfallen face that is so very hard to endure.  Nope, I wasn’t going to do that just yet.  There was only one thing to do.

I headed indoors and fired up YouTube to see if there was anything that might help me.  Sure enough, there was this wonderful guy who not only shows how to pull the tire but also shows that he is replacing his pneumatic tires with solid rubber ones.  Bill would love that!  No flats! Ever!  I would love that because I wouldn’t have to hear about flat mower tires again!  Ever!  This was worth pursuing.

So I watch closely and I see that there are no nuts involved in this thing.  Apparently, that cylindrical thing was the end of the axle.  Then what held the tire on?  The only thing that’s holding this tire on is an e-ring.  At least that’s what this guy said it was.  What is an e-ring?  He takes it off and kindly shows us e-ring newbs what it looks like.    WHAT THE HELL IS AN E-RING?  I’d never seen anything like it.  Obviously, this was not my father’s e-ring, to loosely quote an old Oldsmobile commercial.  To my knowledge he never had e-rings.  But you never know.  Some dads can be tricky if they are hiding e-rings from their daughters, but I just know that mine was not an e-ring hiding dad.  I’ll never know for sure, but I bet he wasn’t. I would think an e-ring hiding dad would have a certain vibe, wouldn’t you?

Ok, those of you who are laughing at me because you know what an e-ring is can just go stand over there in the corner till I’m done.  That’s right, over in that corner right there.  You’ll just have to imagine me pointing, but since you can’t see me, just go to any available corner and wait for further instructions.

On with the YouTube video.  The guy presents his audience with his spanking new no-flat tires.  He does admit that they cost $42 a piece and he thought that wasn’t cheap.  I almost shout at my computer screen:  “Who cares what it costs if it means never having to deal with e-rings again?  No flats and no e-rings!”  I try to calm down.  He just slaps those tires on, puts the washers over the axle, puts that e-ring on, and proceeds to grease the wheel.  Damn it, I don’t own a grease gun.  That’s ok, I know I can get one, and I’m pretty sure I can do this thing.  Easy peasy and extra greasy.

After a few deep breaths, I go and tell Bill I have good news and bad news.  It went something like this:

“No, I’ve never seen anything like it but this very nice guy on YouTube showed exactly how to do it.  Really!  Once I found out the subtle mysteries of the e-ring, all became clear.”

I got a sideways glance.  He says:  “Maybe I should call Janusz.”

Janusz is this little man who comes every spring to get the lawnmower going.  After he yells at Bill for not bringing the battery in for the winter, he gets everything tuned up and sharpens the blade.

“Humph!  Why call Janusz if I can do it??  All I have to do is buy the tires and a grease gun.”

He grabs the phone and tries to call Janusz.  No answer.  He doesn’t leave a message but says he will call again.

I guess I’m the one who got the message.  It seems that I won’t be replacing mower tires any time soon.  I am incensed, yet secretly happy that I don’t have to mess around with highly suspicious e-rings.  Besides, Janusz will yell at him for not knowing what to do and that provides a certain amount of entertainment value right there.  I think I’m still going to buy that grease gun, though.  You never know when I might need to grease a few wheels here or there.

The Collection Intervention

About a year ago, I was the recipient of an intervention.  Bill and Wendy (the gal who works for us) teamed up and informed me that my collections were out of control.  They were not wrong.  I collect everything.  I love antiques.  If it’s old, I collect it. The house and the barn, and the garden shed were chock full.  The camp was a little scary, too. I won’t even tell you about the garden shed.  “Hey, those terracotta pots were on sale so of course, I need at least 50 of them!”  Who could resist!?  As you can tell, it wasn’t just antiques. I collected everything and I was one of those people who couldn’t pass up a deal.  If one was good, then a dozen would be so much better. After all, it’s cheaper in bulk!   All of these things, added together, created a deadly combination.  An intervention-worthy combination.

Now, I might be a packrat but things were clean, and in my mind, they were organized.  That might be stretching things a bit.  Everything really was clean but maybe ‘organized’ isn’t the right word.  At least I usually knew which room something was in!  Usually.  The fact that I was going through my books last winter and found three copies of the same book might lead you to believe otherwise.  Yeah, it was at that point that I knew I had a problem.  Bill and Wendy had a point.

I’ve always thought that there are two types of people when it comes to stuff.  There are those wonderful people who like to have a lot of it around and feel cozy when they do.  Then there are those unfeeling people who are minimalists and want to live in cold, spartan conditions suitable for a surgical suite or some sort of sterile laboratory.  Perhaps my choice of adjectives would lead you to guess that I am the former type and Bill and Wendy are the latter.  I like my books and antiques around.  Maybe too many of both.  Maybe.  Yes, I like having my books and antiques around, but my loved ones don’t.  If it were up to them, every room would be so sparsely furnished that you could hold a square dance in it!  A compromise had to be struck, and let me tell you, it’s been painful.

In the past few months, I’ve seen clothes, shoes, dishes, linens, books, art supplies, garden tools, and furniture go out the door.  Even some of my precious antiques have, like Elvis, left the building.  It’s been hard, but somehow liberating.  I vacillate between a number of emotions:  happy, sad, mortified, thankful, mournful, inspired and just plain angry; all bound together in a wrapping of disbelief.  Did I really have all of this stuff?  Did I really need it?  Some things I did, but a lot I could really do without.  Don’t tell Bill and Wendy that.  I still want them to think that they are torturing me and I’m a pitiful victim. I continue to make them believe this with a few pouts and well-timed whimpers.

One of my current projects is working on tools.  Perhaps having five sets of screwdrivers is a bit excessive.  We won’t even talk about socket sets and pliers!  Hey, creating a toolbox for camp seemed like a good idea, especially since I have four toolboxes!  My current job is to gather and organize all of the nails and screws.  Talk about painful!  But, I did get to order some really nifty organizers with little drawers from Amazon that are perfect for this endeavor.  This brings us to another problem…Amazon.  Since this post is getting way too long as it is, I’ll leave my love/hate relationship with Amazon for a future rant post.

The long and the short of it is that I’m a pitiful victim of minimalist monsters.  But little, by little, the house, barn, camp, and garden shed are looking pretty good.  There is still much to be done.  Hey, but the new garage is pristine and I am told it needs to stay that way.  Just keep me away from Amazon.  So many of us have the Amazon addiction. There really should be a support group…that serves donuts.  Those glazed ones are pretty good, and the Boston creams, too.  Oooh jelly-filled, don’t forget about those.  You can’t go wrong with a good plain donut, either.  Oh hell, now I’m collecting donuts!


stupid, Stupid, STUPID!

I suppose it was just a matter of time.

I really thought I was smarter than this, but I guess not.

I fell for an internet spammer.


I got an email from my aunt.  It said she was traveling and needed to send an iTunes card to our niece.  She asked me if I would do it and she would pay me back.  Sure!  She’s in her mid-80’s and I was happy to help out while she was on the road.

Here’s the sad part.  Apple actually called me to make sure it was a legitimate transaction.  In my mind, of course it was!  My aunt actually was traveling and the person she wanted to send it to had my niece’s name.  Her email address looked a little odd, but I hadn’t been in touch with her for a while, so I never thought a thing about it.

So be careful if you get an email from a relative or friend giving information that is up to date, and appears legit.  Hackers know everything about everyone.  It’s rather disconcerting to learn that they know when someone is actually traveling and a family member’s name.

I keep slapping my forehead and saying:  “stupid, Stupid, STUPID!”

My Niece’s Wedding


Last fall, we attended our niece’s wedding.  Amy is a free spirit and doesn’t always go along the lines of staunch tradition.  It’s just one of the many things I love about her.  I should have known that the wedding would be fun after getting their ‘save the date’ card.


The wedding was being held at a lovely ski resort and we were really looking forward to a weekend getaway and hanging out with the family.  Our family is a lot of fun and it was shaping up to be a great time.

When we arrived and started to get ready, it was obvious that the toilet was being a little “sluggish” and the water dropped ever so slowly upon flushing.  Of course, I had to see how bad it was.  I’m not sure what I thought would happen.  It’s not as if I have magical powers in such matters.  I am not a toilet whisperer.  Still, I hit the handle and things went from bad to worse…all over the floor kinda worse.  This was surprising because it was a pretty classy hotel.  Ah well, luckily it was relatively clean toilet water if you know what I mean.  Sigh…

The housekeeping gal was just as nice as could be.  In short order, it was all cleaned up and we could get on with getting ready.  I should say that Bill could get on with getting ready because I had the good sense to arrive in the clothes I was going to wear to the ceremony.  So I tapped my toe as I watched the clock.  Bill was making ponderously slow progress.  Those of you who know Bill well will not be surprised at this.

It was ten minutes before the ceremony and he was almost ready, but not ready ‘enough’ for me.  So when I knew we were cutting it way too close, I just looked at him and said:  “you’re on your own buddy!”  This might seem cruel but I was not going to miss the wedding of two of my very favorite people.

I knew that the site of the ceremony wasn’t too far from our room.  Getting there looked like a piece of cake on the little hotel map.  Let me tell you, hotel maps can’t be trusted.  That’s not really fair because the ceremony was being held exactly where I expected it to be in relation to the hotel, and exactly as it looked on that little map.  In spite of the fact that the map appeared correct, I was not expecting to exit the building onto a rickety deck-like structure. There I came upon a couple of workers having a smoke safely out of the view of guests.  Obviously, I had taken the service entrance and I had ‘caught’ them.

My guess is that their worry about being found evaporated when they saw me jump over the drainage ditch as I determinedly made my way to my seat.   Let me tell you, I am a very large woman.  I am not a drainage ditch jumping kinda gal.  But at this point, I only had five minutes till show time and I wasn’t about to go back inside and take a more dignified route.  I was on a mission!  Besides, dignity has never been my strong suit.

I arrived at the site of the ceremony just in time.  Thank goodness Bill’s cousin and his wife saved us seats.  I guess I didn’t have to worry too much because Amy hadn’t walked down the aisle yet.  I chatted a bit and still no Bill.  He was going to be in big trouble if he missed this, or walked in late, making a spectacle of himself.  The clock was ticking!

Still no Bill.  I was sure that none of the family was ever going to let him forget it if he missed Amy’s wedding.  I knew beyond a doubt that they would never forgive him for tardiness related to toilet issues.  Family lore is full of Bill’s lack of punctuality, and much of that lore is bathroom-related.  We used to joke that it took him 3 hours to take a shower.  As the years went by, the joke morphed into a more general thing.  If he even looked at a bathroom, the family would groan in unison.  If that toilet in the room kept Bill from arriving at the wedding on time, he would never hear the end of it.

As the wedding guests fidgeted a bit, and the groom stood there looking more and more nervous, there was still no sign of the bride…or Bill!  I vacillated between feeling sorry for everyone waiting and being thankful that Bill might just make it because the wedding party was late.  It seemed to take forever, but Bill arrived.  Just seconds later, Amy came down the grassy path to the birch tree arch.  What a stroke of luck that Bill arrived just seconds before Amy came into view!


The ceremony was short but filled with all of the things one could wish for at a wedding.  There was so much love and it heartwarming.  There was also a lot of humor.  Our family has no shortage of that.


The fellow officiating was Sloan’s dad.  Now, Paul is neither a preacher or a justice of the peace, but he did a great job. Amy and Sloan are not religious, but Paul found it necessary to ad lib a bit as he went along.  I think he mentioned the God Belichick and I’m almost positive he made a correlation between Tom Brady and Jesus.  I’m also sure he did this to amuse his son who happens to be a rabid New England Patriots fan.  I’m surprised the guests didn’t give a rousing Patriots cheer.  I’m also surprised some didn’t walk out due to the blasphemy of it all, but we weren’t that kind of crowd.

It was even more hilarious when he ended the ceremony with along the lines of:  “with the power invested in me by a sketchy outfit online for $39, I now pronounce you husband and wife.”  And the fun continued…

As you can tell, it really was unconventional and one of the most fun weddings I’ve ever attended.  After the ceremony, all in good spirits, we headed toward the reception venue. Once there, we learned the reason for Amy’s delay in walking down the aisle.

Remember when I left Bill behind because he was late in getting ready? Apparently, as he rushed toward the site of the wedding, he realized he really needed to ‘go’ and stopped at the restroom right near the spot where everyone was gathering to walk down the aisle.  Once the wedding party was ready, Amy’s Dad told them they had to wait.  He said:  “He’s my brother, we can’t do this until he’s in his seat.”  So the wedding was held up as they waited for Bill to exit the bathroom.

Everyone thought it was hilarious that the family joke had played out in such a big way.  Bill wanted to sink into the floor but his embarrassment was short-lived.  Within minutes, all eyes were on the mother of the bride as she started dancing on the table.



Guest in Jest #69 Everyone Else Has the Best Titles

I can’t quite believe it, but 33 years ago today I married my long-suffering husband, Bill.  I’m not sure what you envisioned our wedding might be like, but I’d wager you’d be wrong.

Bill and I first met when he delivered my mail for a three weeks.  And then I moved.  Not because of him, mind you, but I like to tell him it was.  If you want the whole story of that meeting and whatnot, I actually wrote a post ages ago and called it Part 1 and then left it till now.  So I guess this is the second and final part.  Here’s the first post, in case you are curious.   How I Met My Husband Part 1

If you want to see the Prologue, here’s the link to that.  How I Met My Husband – The Prologue  Yes, there is a prologue.  Don’t ask me why there is a prologue because I don’t remember.  I started writing this whole mess over a year ago and I would have forgotten all about it except it’s now the second day of November and it’s exactly 33 years since I married the poor unfortunate man and it’s Guest in Jest day and I figured if I’m going to beg for posts, the least I could do was be my very own Guest…in Jest.  GASP  Sorry, that was pretty long-winded and I ran out of air.

When I left off this story I had just received an April Fools phone call from Bill, whom I’d only really communicated with via the backs of letters going to and from my Aunt Polly.  I know that sounds weird, but if you want to know why and how, you’ll have to click the link up there and get caught up.

Continuing the story, Bill and I decided to go on a date.  He picked me up that afternoon and we spent the day having a picnic by the river, talking, having dinner, talking some more, going to a movie, and talking more into the middle of the night.  It was one of those “I knew the first time I met him” sort of scenarios.  Actually, I knew the first time I met him and we talked for 10 hours sort of scenarios.  And that’s how I met Bill.

After four months of long distance (an hour apart) dating, we decided to live together.  This meant I had to move back to the area where I grew up.  I wasn’t terribly happy about that, but love conquers all, as they say.

Bill and I found this fabulous little apartment in Skowhegan.  It was an old house that had just been converted to apartments and all of the architectural details had been preserved.  It was a great place.  Who needs more than a bedroom, a kitchen and a living room?  We were happy and it wasn’t long before we started talking about getting married.  At this point it was six months after we first met.  I know it was fast.  But there was that whole “I knew the first time I met him” thing going on.  Still, we were in no hurry.

When we mentioned our intentions to Bill’s parents, his Mom went into full Mother-of–the-Groom mode.  If I looked into her eyes, I could practically see her calculating venue sizes and table plans.  Bill and I started to get nervous.  His family wasn’t rich, but they did fine and they were very well respected in the community.  Bill’s Mom wanted to make sure that our wedding was grand enough to impress not only friends and family, but a large part of the well-heeled portion of the community.  This was becoming a problem.

As each day went by, there was something new; another addition to the grandiose plan.  This train had left the station.  It was on the tracks and gaining steam.  We decided to let her go on planning because she couldn’t do anything concrete without our consent, right?  As the days passed, I started to worry about that, too.

While that was going on in the background, we decided to have a party to mark our first Halloween together.  We invited all of our friends.  It was going to be a lot of fun!  It was certainly something to take our minds off the ridiculous wedding plans.  I don’t even remember how many people she wanted to invite, but it was a lot.  Many of them Bill didn’t even know.  The social event of the season was going to star two very unhappy people.

We were talking about this debacle and then we looked at each other and it hit us.  We didn’t have to do any of those things.  It was our wedding and we could have what we wanted.  Right that minute we wanted to elope.  But where?  We couldn’t really take off for parts unknown when we had already invited people for the Halloween party and…then the lightbulb truly went off.  We would elope in our very own living room and the previously planned Halloween party would be our reception!

And that’s what we did.  Bill had a best man and I had a best woman.  Bill’s brother and his wife took pictures, and a friend of ours married us.  That was it.  We got married, went out to dinner, and then we came home and put on our Halloween costumes.  All of our friends arrived and as the party was in full swing we told everyone we were married!  yay!!!  They didn’t believe us.  Not a single one of them thought we’d actually done it.  It took a while to convince them, but we finally did.  But that wasn’t the end…

We still had to tell our parents what we’d done.  In full disclosure, I didn’t have to tell my Mom because I’d already told her what we planned to do.  She was always the ‘whatever makes you happy’ kind of person.  Even so, telling her she couldn’t come to our wedding was a big deal.  She knew what had been happening with Bill’s Mom, and that this was the most expedient way to stop the wedding freight train.  Like the saint she was, she agreed it was the best course of action.

So that left Bill’s parents.  It so happened that they were away for the weekend.  That was just a happy coincidence, but it meant we didn’t have to show up and tell them in person.  Bill made the call during the party.  When he came back he was smiling.  I was dying to know how it went. “WHAT HAPPENED!?” I yelled over the din.  He grinned and told me she said:  “I knew you’d do something like this!”




The Prepositions of Moving

We have been the recipients of a very generous gift of furniture and other various objects from our beloved aunt who has the audacity to leave Maine and move to Florida.  The nerve!  But we still love her dearly because she promises she will come back to visit regularly.  Regularly means weekly, right?  Probably not but I can hope!

Some of you out there might remember that I’m a hoarder collector of many things.  I have a lot of stuff.  I have stuff that hasn’t been organized properly in ages.  This is a problem when furniture is incoming.  Where to put what?  This wonderful influx has forced motivated me to do some organizing and get rid of some stuff (Oh, the humanity!)

This whole organizing thing isn’t easy,  but it had to be done and it meant that things would be so much nicer and neater.  There was the added plus that my couch would no longer be held together by duct tape.  The dogs just don’t  understand why they can’t come into the living room now unless we are here.  They are no longer allowed to rear up like horses and fall down to play doggie Twister.   Our aunt mentioned that perhaps a new coffee table would act as a speed bump.  It has slowed them down a bit!


I can almost hear them wondering why on earth there is a quilt on the couch.  They are perplexed, but I digress.

It is here that we need to talk about the prepositions of moving.  I think moving from one house to another might be easier than what I’ve been doing.  Instead of moving OUT and moving IN, I’ve been moving AROUND.

AROUND is a whole different preposition from IN and OUT when it comes to moving.  A whole different proposition preposition, indeed.

IN and OUT are perfectly normal as moving prepositions go, but AROUND is where I get into trouble.  This thing has to go there but the thing over there has to be moved first to another place altogether, usually in another room, on another floor or to another building.

IMG_0052Let me just say that my garden shed runneth over.  Remember those tile games we had as kids (for those of you old enough to remember such things) and you had to move the tiles AROUND and AROUND until you made a picture?  That is what I’ve been doing…HERE, THERE, and EVERYWHERE (my apologies to the Beatles.)  But you know what?  The final picture, as it is evolving, is pretty cool.

The picture isn’t in focus just yet.  Just because I’ve moved the stuff to the area where it belongs doesn’t mean that organizing all of the little things is done.


It’s amazing what I’ve found while organizing stuff.  Do you think any sane woman needs four power sanders?  Don’t answer that.  We won’t even talk about the hand tools.  In the sunroom I had enough potting supplies to start a greenhouse.  How many wires and cords and adapters should a person own?  Whatever the number, I’ve got more.  “Hey, look at this!  It’s a firewire drive!”  I even found my Sony Walkman…that plays cassettes…hello 1980’s!!


So I am now dealing with different prepositions.  As I go through things, and place them where they belong, I realize that some of them go HERE and some go THERE.  And some of them actually go OUT!